Kaylen Lemar Smith says he’s not nervous at all, even though all eyes will be on him Wednesday as he stands on the steps of the Arkansas Capitol, Helaine R. Williams writes in Tuesday's Style section
The 12-year-old will be portraying Martin Luther King Jr., giving his “I Have a Dream” speech in its entirety as part of the March on Washington Re-enactment, the state’s 50th anniversary celebration of the march and King’s speech.
An eighth-grader at Little Rock Preparatory Academy, Kaylen says it took him a month to memorize the entire speech. He has practiced before his mother. Her critique? “She just said that what needs to be improved is the emphasis. … Hand motions mostly and pretty much,” Kaylen responds. “And she just said I need to project my voice.
“She said ‘You don’t want anybody laughing at you and stuff,’ and I said, ‘I don’t want that, so let me get it right.’”